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5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

Here’s what went down over the weekend here at DCR HQ!  Speaking of DCR HQ, don’t forget that we’re just under two weeks away till the Annual DCR Cave Open House! Be sure to register!

1) Delivery Friday!

Friday turned out to be a strong convergence of delivery peoples in my general direction.  I had a box from my US mail forwarding addressing bringing various goods over.  Then I had my previously ordered iPhone X.  And then finally my also long-ago previously ordered GoPro Fusion 360° cam.

In that box from the US mail forwarder was a variety of things, including the Rylo cam (yes, the one with 36 Amazon 5* reviews before it starts shipping).  But apparently I can’t show you it until later today due to embargo (even though it’s already announced).  So, you’ll have to wait until later sometime to see that.  I’m looking forward to digging deeper in that.

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Also in my mail forwarding box was a variety of random things, like an HDMI splitter. I wanted that because I was trying to film an upcoming Zwift Apple TV video, and it was becoming a bit of a @#$#@ to record the video (using this thingy), while also seeing it on my TV (and having that in frame).  So this cheap little accessory worked perfectly for that purpose, splitting the signal to both my TV as well as my computer for recording.

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And then finally, the Apple X (pronounced ‘Ten’ according to those that care).  This was more about replacing my older phone because the microphone didn’t work on it anymore (and Apple Care stopped covering).  So we did that back in June, and The Girl will now take that largely new iPhone 7 and I’ll have gone with the X.  I prefer the smaller size of the X over the larger ‘Plus’ phones, but I really wanted the dual lens setup for photos.

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As for the notch? Shrug. It looks stupid when I’m watching YouTube videos because the aspect ratio is now all wonky.  But beyond that it doesn’t bother me.  The Face ID piece works reasonably well for me, though without the home button now, getting used to the switching of apps is annoyingly slow.  And I love…love…love the camera.  There ya go – my tech review in under five sentences.

2) Friday Lunch Date:

After a week of being largely hospital and then house-bound with the new one, we decided to head out for lunch together at one of our favorite breakfast spots – Holy Belly.  The Peanut was off at daycare, so no need to worry about her.  And Peanut 2 (the new one) is pretty content sleeping about 90% of the day. And the remainder of the time, she’s pretty quiet.

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Lunch was awesome as always.  For the first time ever I went with a non-breakfast dish and did one of their specials.

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I watch their Instagram feed countless times per day, and it’s largely what drives whether or not we make the trek across town.  This day was definitely worth it!

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Afterwards, we poked around a few stores nearby, and then headed back home where I had some late afternoon conference calls.  Just a lazy and easy lunch.

3) GoPro Fusion Unboxing!

As part of my assortment of Friday goodies, I had the GoPro Fusion in there that I bought.  So obviously, I got right onto getting my unboxing video and photos done:

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Here’s the full unboxing video I put together:

And then I went outside and played with it a bit at night (it gets dark here far too early for my liking!), so here’s that clip:

And here’s a daylight clip if ya want as well.  Then a cycling one as soon as I can get it all exported!

I’ll have a bit more in a full in-depth review hopefully very shortly.  It’s fairly simple to cook through this one, as it doesn’t have quite as much complexity as even a regular GoPro Hero 6 camera would.

4) Enjoying fall colors

Every day over the last few weeks I’ve stared out our windows and keep thinking we need to go across the street and take some nice photos while the gardens are in their fall best.  Just with The Peanut playing around in the leaves and such.  And then each day something else comes up and we never quite make it over there.  On Saturday though, we made like Parisians and enjoyed the city’s parks.

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More importantly, I got some good family pics.  On the average day I take between 100-300 photos with my DSLR camera.  Yet, almost none of them these days is family focused unless it’s out at a specific event (like going to the farm to pick pumpkins).  Mostly, I just use my phone.  But today, DSLR it was (this is my DSLR setup, for those curious).

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We had grand plans to go further afield for food, but after doing a slow meander through both of the islands and their respective parks, we just headed home.  338 photos later…

5) Cycling the city:

I had about a two-hour window while The Peanut was taking a nap on Sunday to squeeze in a brief ride.  Just enough time to unbox the Rylo cam (which was thankfully pre-charged and fully updated on firmware), and then rig up the GoPro Fusion cam on a few different mounts for the ride (helmet, handlebar, rear wheel).

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Except, the above mount I bought sucks. It probably couldn’t even hold a Snickers bar without falling apart. So even just a very light head nod caused the Fusion to fall off (I tested it indoors first).  So instead I reverted back to the included GoPro Fusion mount:

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After a whole bunch of prep stuff (and eventually giving up on the Samsung Gear Sport to find GPS after waiting 10+ minutes and restarting it), I headed out.  While a bit cloudy, when you found a sunspot it was great.  Oh, and here’s the thingy on my head:

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But I started out with it on my handlebars:

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My plan for this post was to take snippets of the video from the GoPro Karma and then screenshots from that using OverCapture, which is their way of allowing you to get flat footage/clips from the spherical footage.  But alas, I started a 5-minute clip render job about 2 hours ago…and it’s still processing (on a 6-month-old heavily spec’d out MacBook Pro).  And that was for something totally unrelated, so it hasn’t even got to 10 clips totaling 30 minutes of footage. A pic of the queue prior to pressing ‘Render All’.

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I think I’ll come back next week and it’ll be done rendering.  On the bright side, my experience is that once it does render – the stitch quality is very good, though I haven’t had any of the cycling footage finish rendering yet (thus, stay tuned to YouTube for when it does!)

With that – thanks for reading, and get ready for a busy week of stuff leading into Thanksgiving.  Oh, and in case you haven’t seen it – I’ve got up my Black Friday 2017 page here.  I’ll publish a more formal post in a day or three with links to that, but in case you didn’t notice it – boatloads of deals (current and upcoming) posted.  Note, not all deals are posted, only ones that are officially listed.  So check back often!

Have a good week!

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49 Comments

  1. Juri

    Hey Ray :)

    i know that you are now pretty busy with the P2 (congrats again btw.)

    but do you know by when you`ll crank out the runscribe pro and vector 3 reviews?

    i need new winter goodies :P

  2. Paul E

    Why is it that menus in Paris always sound SO much more appetizing, luxurious, and decadent than in the US? LOL

    Looks like a GREAT weekend!

    • Juri

      as someone who is originally from Berlin and speaks french i can tell you, that the second dish totally didnt sound like our real deal :p

      the Gnocchi look super nice though!

    • Yeah, I love Currywurst, but…after seeing that specific dish go by, I decided gnocchi as well. ;)

    • Thomas

      Currywurst with Brez’n and Sauerkraut… that’s indeed three things that in Germany are mutually exclusive (and represent three different regions as well). And we’re not yet even discussing if the Currywurst comes with or without the skin. (It should be no skin!)

  3. Mike King

    Nothing weird about that GoPro on your helmet. I had to look really hard to spot it :-)

    Kudos to the GoPro engineers for the subtle job, but overall I think maybe the Garmin team might take aero awards.

    Joking apart, I was looking at a 360 camera for sailing use, and if the Fusion went below the waterline water at speed I can’t see it surviving.

    • Paul S.

      Yeah, I thought the VIRB 360 looked strange mounted on my helmet, but it looks completely inoffensive compared to this.

      Does anyone make a general head mount that puts the camera on the crown of the head? I’ll be taking my 360 out xc skiing with me and the head mounts I have put the camera on my forehead. I suppose I can always wear my cycling helmet, but that seems a little silly and the hat I typically use won’t fit under a helmet.

  4. ReHMn

    Thanksgiving!…thank you Ray for your effort, reviews and regular posts here in DC Peanut Maker dot com…

    And hell of a lot things happened previous week…

    Mozilla updated Firefox to Quantum. It is faster, however some add-ins (shorten url tool) won’t work within this new browser.

    Strava made their HotMaps hotter then ever. From now on, you can call it Lava instead…
    link to labs.strava.com
    link to medium.com

    Garmin was trying to be active, but under expression “update” (Connect software version from 4.0.3.0 to 4.1.0.10), they rather messed up things…
    First noticeable change happened to the 12month activity graph, which is a wannabe Strava ridiculous copy.
    Can we have back the activity count graph, please?

  5. Eli

    So no proper gpu acceleration on the macbook pro? Just a fast CPU wouldn’t mean much these days

    • Paul S.

      It’s there. VIRB Edit uses it (in my case, Intel Iris), and my MacBook Pro is several years old. I routinely use my MacBook in preference to my Mac Pro (old cheese grater, 8 core Xeon, ATI Radeon GPU) for 360 video rendering because it’s simply faster at it. Haven’t tried my daughter’s newer touchbar MacBook for anything serious. It’s hit or miss, though. Some software uses the GPU, others don’t. On my MacBook I use VLC to view 360 from my VIRB because the GoPro VR Player won’t use the GPU, while on my Mac Pro the GoPro viewer works much better because neither uses the GPU but GoPro is perfectly happy to use all (16 with hyper threading) cores. It’d be nice if Apple updated Quicktime player to handle 360.

    • Correct, there’s one in there.

      I can view the files just fine, and I can play and render all sorts of content. It’s just that it’s taking roughly 1-3 hours per 5 minute piece of rendered footage. That’s nuts.

      I’ve sent an e-mail this morning to some GoPro folks to see what they think.

    • Anonymous Coward

      Assuming the rendering app uses OpenCL / Metal, then perhaps an external GPU would make the post-processing faster. (Note: only some configs work with macOS out of the box.) Also: the “puck” also comes with an external power supply, so it’s not quite as tidy as the pics make it appear.

    • Interesting, hadn’t thought of that. Not super clear on what they use. Looking at the About page, they list credits for:

      GStreamer, Ceres, wm5 (Boost), LCMS, LCMS2, libjpeg, libjpeg-turbo, libpng, zlib, jxrlib, google-breakpad, cpuid, boost, eigen, CXSparse.

      Regrettably, I have no idea if any of those would leverage an external GPU.

    • Anonymous Coward

      There is some hope:

      $ otool -L ‘Fusion Studio 1.0.app/Contents/MacOS/FusionStudio’ | egrep ‘Metal|OpenGL’
      @rpath/QtOpenGL.framework/Versions/5/QtOpenGL (compatibility version 5.9.0, current version 5.9.1)
      /System/Library/Frameworks/OpenGL.framework/Versions/A/OpenGL (compatibility version 1.0.0, current version 1.0.0)

      Running Instruments (part of Xcode) and its “Metal System Trace” against the render task could give some clues if the GPUs are firing up.

    • Paul S

      No need for Xcode if that’s all you want. There’s a little Open Source app called XRG that will show you the state of the GPU among other things.

    • Nice, I’ll have to give it a whirl.

      I got back a bunch of fairly useful detail and workflow info from GoPro yesterday that should help speed things up a bit. Most of it is more logistical stuff in terms of how to take the content off the cards in the right way/folders/files ahead of rendering that should dramatically speed things up.

    • Anonymous Coward

      XRG doesn’t do what it claims, at least as far overall GPU use is concerned (see: GFXBench runs.)

  6. Ben

    it sounds like the Gear Sport review is going to be a humdinger, lol

  7. ReHMn

    I hope, Ray doesn’t mind posting it here…(could be moderated or deleted)

    Dear DC Peanut Maker readers and Garmin active users!

    Will you do me a favor, please? I called the Garmin helpdesk on this matter, but they did not see any issue, so they refused to open a trouble ticket to development team.
    I am unable to determine whether it is multisport/activity related, device related, GC related or map related issue.

    Please check any your multisport activity made this year. Focus on map and GPS track (ignore the data for now). Any issues?
    Then check the Activity filters. The Bike leg and the Running leg from a multisport activity should appear there. To me, nothing described above is working properly, I am unable to find the Olympic distance triathlon race (do not know it’s activity number) among activities, however it is present in Calendar.
    I have the activity number for another race, however, if you want to check what I am talking about…
    1857510775.

    Thank you!

    • (Comments with more than two links automatically hit a pending queue, but I usually approve within a few minutes, your other comment is up above)

      As for filters, no, I don’t see a quick filter for ‘Triathlon’ activity type. Just the pre-canned filters seen at the top of the activities page. I happen to rename mine as ‘Triahtlon’, so it makes it easy to find. I suppose they probably prioritize quick filters by the most popular activity types. Though a drop-down would probably be more widely usable.

      Unless I’m missing it.

      On your activity, I can’t seem to get the map to enumerate for the full tri, and then some legs seem to show up as straight lines. Not sure if that’s what you’re seeing.

      (Here’s a tri from last year: link to connect.garmin.com – I don’t actually have one of my races from this year uploaded because I hit the wrong button mid-way through and so didn’t bother with it on GC.)

    • ReHMn

      Ray, thx for checking, for the approval and explanation… :-)

      Yes, the Start and End points are detected and are present on the map, but the track is missing.
      I did not fly among those points… It is showing properly in Strava and Relive, which is a GPX import of the original file…
      All last year multisports are all right and above is the picture how it should appear among activity filters: name of the activity dash cycling/running.

      So this year multisport is not among activities and the map is not showing track, just start/end points.

      I was curious, whether this is happening to me solely , or anybody else is experiencing something similar. If so, what was device used for recording. That way we can narrow the root cause of the issue…

    • ReHMn

      and here is a screenshot how that activity is loading in calendar…
      Step1:

    • I’d consider dropping a note on the Garmin Forums for your specific watch, and see if someone else can confirm. Perhaps going with a catchy title like ‘Product X Triathlon Races not showing up on Garmin Connect’

    • ReHMn

      Thx, Ray… but I have issues with Garmin Forums as well. The picture upload doesn’t working there so smoothly like on your site… lol
      just call me troublemaker… at least other product support team do see, that not everything is perfect round Garmin…

  8. Rich

    Hi Ray … you mentioned the slow app switching on the iPhone X. When you are in any app, just swipe “right” on the white horizontal bar at the bottom of the display. Each swipe brings up the next app. Very fast and easy. Hope that helps.

    Rich

  9. Chris

    Beautiful family Ray! Take the time to enjoy. Love the family events as much as the gadgets.

  10. Dave

    So Ray, does Garmin have anything coming soon?

    • Generally speaking for all consumer tech, once you cross the first full week of November, there’s rarely any further announcements of any companies new products. That’s like the point of no return till CES (early January).

      I don’t expect any new products between now and CES, aside from already announced products.

    • Dave

      So they’re really launching Garmin Running Power with only one Forerunner that supports it? Seems insane.

    • They launched Garmin Connect IQ on only a single watch at the time…

      Keep in mind too that these days the Fenix is a huge driver of running sales as well, as is the Vivo series, for which the Vivoactive 3 and Vivoactive HR will work with it.

  11. Tobywankenobe

    Such a beautiful family. Thanks for the brilliant save there, Ms. B.

  12. Greg

    I think you should attach a selfie stick to your helmet…then make more goofy faces

  13. Alice

    Hi Ray, I’m very happy for you, seeing how it all worked out so well with you and The Girl and now 2 little Peanuts :) As a long time reader since way back when you started your blog as a training /cooking/ travelling journal in DC – I’d really love to see a few more of those 338 photos taken in the autumn park. Would be lovely, thanks!

  14. Rich S

    “getting used to the switching of apps is annoyingly slow. And I love…love…love the camera. There ya go – my tech review in under five sentences.”

    Hey Ray, hope you’ve worked out the quick up and over for app switching menu or home bar swipe to go through them even quicker. So good when you get used to it honestly!!

  15. graviton

    That camera on the helmet looks ridiculous. And anti-aero. It’s a 360 camera, so it shouldn’t matter which way it’s facing, should it? Why not mount it looking sideways, or even flat down?

    • It’s all about stitch lines. You basically want the stitch lines to be in places that don’t matter as much, no matter how good the stitching tech. So if you mounted the camera sideways, the stitch line would be directly down the middle of the point of travel, as well as down your face or body.

    • Paul S.

      Not only stitch lines, but if it’s flat on top of the helmet, the helmet fills the entire field of view of one lens. The higher the lenses are, the less that’s a problem. If you’re talking about mounting it flat elsewhere, I personally want to see as little of me or my helmet in the view as possible. That’s why I’ve never once mounted my VIRB 360 on my handlebars where I always mounted my VIRB Elite. A large part of the field of view would be me pedaling along, and I don’t want that. The crown of the helmet is the perfect place to mount, facing forward and backwards so that whatever stitch artifacts there are are on the sides.

    • Giles Roadnight

      Interesting. I am wondering how best to mount the Virb 360. I’m wondering if I need a little stalk to raise it above my helmet it abit, I am also wondering if it can see behind me if I am down on the drops.

      Do you have any youTube videos of the camera mounted on your helmet?

    • When I talked to Garmin about it way back when, they suggested anything that gets it up and a bit forward is best.

      That’s why I bought that mount above – hoping to see it work out…but Fusion was too heavy, and even the VIRB 360 would snap it too.

    • Giles Roadnight

      I have an idea for mounting, not sure if it will work. I’ll attempt to post a video / picture when I have it setup.

    • Paul S.

      You don’t want to go too far. For practical reasons (where i ride I might snag the camera on low overhanging branches) I wouldn’t use that mount Ray was trying even if it worked. I use a standard helmet mount that I got in a “big bag o GoPro mounts” I got from Amazon. You can also feel the 360 up there even though it’s light, so I wouldn’t want to give it more leverage on a stalk. I’d also worry a little about image stabilization with the camera swaying around on a stalk, even though the stabilization is superb (I once keeled over when stopped on a bed of pine needles while recording and you can barely tell that anything happened in the recorded image).

      I have a few clips (for example, link to youtu.be) and some full time lapses from my 360 up on YouTube. I’ve found that the video quality on YouTube isn’t great compared to the actual exported video (I’ve filled a 2 Tb disk with 360 video and am working on my second). Ray’s look much better, so there’s probably something I don’t have set right or haven’t signed up for.

  16. Giles Roadnight

    Any initial thoughts / first impressions on the fusion? Just ordered the Virb 360 and want to make sure I’ve not made a horrible mistake!